People in Jenkins will be able to swim in the city’s new pool this summer if everything continues to go as planned.
Mayor G.C. Kincer told the Jenkins
City Council at its March meeting that construction has begun on the pool and City Manager Todd DePriest added that the contractor has a completion date of Memorial Day, May 27. Kincer thanked Letcher County Judge/Executive Jim Ward for sending a county excavator and operator to do the excavation for the pool and said Ward had saved the city thousands of dollars with his help. The permit has been released by state authorities and plumbing work will begin this week.
Whitesburg architect Bill Richardson of Richardson and Associates presented the drawings of the city civic center and changing rooms to be located at the pool site on the old Bert Fields property at Lakeside. Richardson told the council the city has enough in its budget to pay for the entire center and said the work has been split into two phases to expedite the construction of restrooms that will meet state specifications for swimming pools. The council unanimously approved Richardson’s request to bid Phase I, the Lakeside Center Phase I Toilet Addition. City Attorney Randall Tackett told Richardson he would have to make sure the bid form matches city requirements and said he will try to shorten the bid period to match Richardson’s requested date for a bid opening if it is possible within the constraints of the city ordinance.
In other business, the city produced 15,377,000 gallons of treated water and sold 6,594,000. Water losses that were accounted for totaled 4,030,000, for a total unaccounted loss of 4,753,000 gallons. Leaks in four old main lines were found and repaired. No leaks have occurred in any of the newly installed lines.
Paul Nesbitt of Nesbitt Engineering reported that Phase III of the Jenkins Waterline Replacement Project at Lakeside is almost complete, with a few master meters that need to go in. Nesbitt also reported on Phase II of the Payne Gap Water Project, which is administered by the city and will be turned over to the Letcher County Water and Sewer District upon completion. He said the contractor, G&W Construction of Morehead, is laying main lines and lines along the Kona Spur at present and about 50 percent of lines have been laid. Nesbitt said the overall project is about 30 percent complete and construction on the water tank at the Junction of US 119 and US 23 has not begun.
Rebecca Terrill-Amburgey told Nesbitt she drives by the construction daily on the way to and from work and praised the contractor for keeping the work site clean and safe. Nesbitt said G&W Construction is doing excellent work and is very good to work with. He said Phase III will finish laying lines to all the side roads and he hopes a Memorandum of Agreement with Abandoned Mine Lands, which funds the entire Payne Gap Project, will be signed within six weeks. Funding for Phase III should be released by July.
Jenkins resident Tracy Goff, a partner with Summit Engineering, introduced Jody Hunt, who will serve as project manager of the Jenkins Natural Gas Line Project. Hunt showed the council a preliminary map of the project and said Summit is currently working with EQT on connecting to its lines. He said the quality of the gas in the EQT lines is excellent for residential and industrial use and Summit has contacted potential commercial users at the Gateway Industrial Park and has spoken with the Jenkins Independent Schools Board of Education about the possibility of using gas to heat the middle high school as well.
Hunt said the next step is to gauge the interest of residential customers in the city and to continue working on funding for the project. He said EQT is very supportive of the city’s efforts. Mayor Kincer said that homeowners at Raven Rock Golf Course will also be queried as to their interest in gas and former Mayor Pro-Tem Roger Profitt, who works for EQT, said there is ample capacity at the Gateway site to serve the entire county
City Administrator Todd De- Priest reported that the city will receive a $30,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security for radio repeaters for city vehicles and a $6,000 Safety Grant from the Kentucky League of Cities for body armor and other safety supplies for the Jenkins Police Department. The city took 87.5 tons of solid waste to the landfill at a cost of $3,974 and 622 blue bags of recyclables were picked up, with Tuesday the high day with 170 bags.
Police Chief Roland Craft told the council that he had hired one new officer, Joe Holbrook, and another officer, Jonathon Cooke will start next week. Veteran Officer Sgt. Jim Stephens rounds out the department, but Craft added that he is recruiting a female officer as well.
Craft, who served as District 3 magistrate at the time of his appointment as Jenkins Police Chief, has a long career in law enforcement and is a former chief of police in Whitesburg. He told the council he plans to make the Jenkins Police Department the best in the county and will run a tight department with strict discipline. Craft also said he has signed purchase orders for a new Chevy Tahoe police vehicle and a Ford all-wheel-drive police car.
He showed the council drawings of new identification markinsg on both vehicles and said Jenkins police vehicles will bear new Cavalier logos as well as a demonstration of solidarity with Jenkins Independent Schools and with city traditions. Jenkins officers answered 40 complaints in February, worked seven accidents, issued six citations, 25 warnings, and served eight warrants.
The Blighted, Deteriorated, and Neglected Property Committee met last week and City Attorney Tackett reported that six properties were approved for the next step in the process of restoring the property to the city to be used for new housing and other uses for the public good. The properties are: the Arner Whitaker property, an old furniture store in East Jenkins; the Marshall Taylor property in Dunham; the Sheehan property in Burdine, which is owned by the Deutsche Bank; the Robert and Willie Jones property in Wrights Hollow; the Victor Bryant property at Rocky Hollow; and the Andy Mullins property on Number 3 Hill. The council unanimously approved taking the next step in the process to have the properties condemned.
In other council business:
• The council voted unanimously to resubmit a Land and Water Conservation Fund Resolution (grant proposal), which will provide a 50 percent match for funding the Splash Park at the swimming pool.
• The council unanimously approved Resolution 304, to participate in the Recreational Trails Program for a trail from the Pine Mountain Linear State Park Trailhead at Pound Gap to the community center at Jenkins.
• Mayor Kincer reported the city is negotiating with Gary Royalty for his property at the old Beth- Elkhorn Shops site in Jenkins. Kincer said the Environmental Protection Agency is handling the environmental matters associated with the site.
• The council unanimously approved the second reading of Ordinance #236, the franchise agreement for Kentucky Power to provide electricity to the city.
• Greg Hale LLC was awarded the contract for renovation of Giovanni’s Pizza with the low bid of $7,651.
• Mayor Kincer announced that the City Clean Up will he held from April 29 through May 24. Pick-up schedules by area will be placed in water bills. Items for pick up should be placed in the same place as regular garbage.